Title holders Gran Canaria enter Women's Challenge CupArticle
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ROUND PREVIEW: Rocasa Gran Canaria ACE, who won the Women's Challenge Cup last season, start their title defence this weekend as the final 13 teams for the Last 16 will be determined.
»2016-17 Women's News

Title holders Gran Canaria enter Women's Challenge Cup

ABU Baku, KHF Shqipona and Virto/Quintus qualified for the Last 16 of the Women's Challenge Cup last weekend, leaving spots for 13 more teams open.

No less than seven of those teams are going to be found through double headers this weekend.

One of them involves Rocasa Gran Canaria ACE, who won the Challenge Cup last season.

In a first step towards defending their title, the Spanish team are playing at home against HIFK from Finland, a team consisting entirely of domestic players.

The first leg in the Antonio Moreno Arena in Telde at Gran Canaria is taking place Saturday evening, followed by the return match Sunday afternoon.

Looking for repeat of semi-final achievement

The 2016 semi-finalists HC Karpaty of Ukraine try to repeat their achievement from last season and first face DHB Rotweiss Thun SPL 1. The team from Switzerland eliminated ASD Ariosto Pallamano Ferrara from Italy to get this far.

Karpaty and Thun meet in the Karpaty Arena of Uzhgorod Saturday, and again Sunday afternoon.

However, it is not just double headers this weekend.

Spain looking for two teams in Last 16

Spain may hope to have two teams in the Last 16. Apart from title holders Rocasa Gran Canaria, Helvetia BM Alcobendas took a first step towards the Last 16 by winning 25:21 at home against Colegio de Gaia in the first match.

Saturday afternoon, the Portuguese team will try to make up this four-goal deficit on home court.

HC Vardar SCJS are virtually through to the Last 16 even before hosting HC Svilengrad-PU in the Sport Center Jane Sandanski in Skopje Sunday afternoon.

The Macedonian side won the away leg 24:17, leaving the Bulgarian visitors with what looks like a ‘mission impossible’.

TEXT: Peter Bruun / ew